Ann Farabee: Ready to go home?
Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 20, 2016
• He was RESTLESS — A man had two sons, and the younger one said to his father, Give me what belongs to me. The father gave him his share of the inheritance.
• He was REBELLIOUS — He left home and wasted it with riotous living.
• He was RECKLESS — He spent all.
• He met REALITY — There was a famine in the land. He began to be in want.
• He REACHED bottom — He became a citizen of that country and had to go to the fields to feed swine.
• He had a REVELATION — He came to himself.
• He REMEMBERED — How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare and I am starving?
• He RECOGNIZED his sin — I will say, Father, I have sinned against heaven and you.
• He was REMORSEFUL — I am not worthy to be your son.
• He RESPONDED — He got up and went to his father.
• He was RECEIVED — When he was a great way off, his father saw him coming and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.
• He REPENTED — Father, I have sinned and I’m not worthy to be called your son.
• He was REINSTATED — The father told the servants to bring out the best robe and put it on him.
• He was RECONCILED — To put a ring on his hand.
• He was RE-ESTABLISHED — To put shoes on his feet.
• He was REDEEMED — To bring the fatted calf. Let us eat and be merry, for my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost, but is now found.
Are you away from home? It is time to come to yourself. Charles Spurgeon explains that when the father SAW him, he saw WHO he was, WHERE he had been, and WHAT he would be soon.
The father is looking for you. When you come home, he will kiss you ‘much,’ as it is referenced in translations from the 1800s. Spurgeon explained ‘kissing you much’ as meaning MUCH love, MUCH forgiveness, MUCH restoration, MUCH joy, MUCH comfort, MUCH assurance, MUCH communion. In his sermon, ‘Many Kisses for Returning Sinners,’ the emotion from that moment can be clearly visualized: Perhaps the young man looked down on his foul garments, and said, “Oh the past, my father, the past!” The father would kiss him again, as if to say, “Never mind the past.” “But the present, my father, the present, what a dreadful state I am in!” and with another kiss would come the answer, “Never mind the present, my boy. I am content to have you as you are. I love you.” “Oh, but father, the future, the future. What if it happens again?” Then, would come another kiss, and the father would say, “I will see to the future, my son.”
There’s some good stuff — I mean GOD stuff — in Luke 15.
Ready to go home? Tap your heels together three times and repeat after me: There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. (Just kidding. I was wanting to see if you were paying attention. It’s actually easier than that.)
Let’s try again — Ready to go home? Come to yourself. Get up. Go to the Father. While you are a long way off, He will see you — because He’s been looking for you — and He will have compassion for you, and He will run, fall on your neck, and kiss you much.
Ann Farabee, writer, teacher, and speaker, has taught in Kannapolis City Schools and Mooresville Schools. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org